What is Christmas? Christ - mas is the celebration of Jesus Christ's Birthday! Jesus was born 2003 years ago, or so. In fact, our modern calendar reflects the date of Jesus' birth. B.C. means Before Christ's birth, and A.D. is Latin for Anno Domino, which means "Year of our Lord".
Why celebrate Christmas?
Christmas is one Big Birthday Party!! The first Birthday Party for the Lord Jesus Christ was about 2000 years ago! The event and Jesus Christ's guests are recorded in two books of the Bible. In Luke 2:1-21 we are told about the Angels who announced the birth of Jesus to the Shepherds and how they ran to meet Him. In Matthew 1:18-12 we are told about the Visitors from the East who came looking for the King of the Jews.
Angels and Shepherds: At that time Emperor Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire. When this first census took place, Quirinius was the governor of Syria. Everyone, then, went to register himself, each to his own hometown. Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, the birthplace of King David. Joseph went there because he was a descendant of David. He went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him. She was pregnant, and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby. She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger - there was no room for them to stay in the inn.
There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them, "Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David's town your Savior was born - Christ the Lord! And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great army of heaven's angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God: "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!"
When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child. All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said. Mary remembered all theses things and thought deeply about them. The shepherds went back, singing praises to God for all they had heard and seen; it had been just as the angel had told them. Luke 2:1-21 TEV Bring me to the explanation.
Visitors from the East: Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the time when Herod was king. Soon afterward, some men who studied stars came from the East to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the baby born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star when it came up in the east, and we have come to worship him."
When King Herod heard about this, he was very upset, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. He called together all the chief priests and the teachers of the Law and asked them, "Where will the Messiah be born?" "In the town of Bethlehem in Judea," they answered. "For this is what the prophet wrote:
'Bethlehem in the land of Judah, you are by no means least of the leading cities of Judah; for from you will come a leader who will guide my people Israel.'"(from Micah 5:2)
So Herod called the visitors from the East to a secret meeting and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem with these instructions: "Go and make careful search for the child; and when you find him, let me know, so that I too may go and worship him."
And so they left, and on the way they saw the same star they had seen in the East. When they saw it how happy they were, what joy was theirs! It went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. They went into the house, and when they saw the child with his mother Mary, they knelt down and worshipped him. They brought out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and presented them to him. Then they returned to their country by another road, since God had warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. Matthew 1:18-12 TEV Bring me to the explanation.Joseph: was Jesus' step father since God Almighty was Jesus' real Father. Joseph was also husband to Mary. Read about him in Matthew 1:18-25; 2:13-15,19-23.
Other sites which may be helpful in understanding this special time are:
All Bible verses listed above are taken from the Good News Bible, TEV translation.
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